Alain de Botton

Switzerland
Born on 20 Dec 1969
Writer / Philosopher

A Helpful Vision of Ourselves

We depend on our surroundings obliquely to embody the moods and ideas we respect and then to remind us of them. We look to our buildings to hold us, like a kind of psychological mould, to a helpful vision of ourselves. We arrange around us material forms which communicate to us what we need but are at constant risk of forgetting what we need within. We turn to wallpaper, benches, paintings and streets to staunch the disappearance of our true selves.

Alain de Botton, in 'The Architecture of Happiness'
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The Architecture of Happiness

Alain de Botton

 

On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays